Trade Cases

AISI: House Bill Aims to Stop Repeat Offenders of U.S. Trade Laws

Written by David Schollaert

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) praised a new bipartisan bill designed to crack down on trade cheating and enhance the tools available to combat repeat offenders of U.S. trade remedy laws.

The “Eliminating Global Market Distortions to Protect American Jobs Act of 2021” – also referred to as “The Level the Playing Field Act 2.0” – was introduced by U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), and is the House companion legislation to the Senate version introduced earlier this year.

“This legislation will strengthen the effectiveness of the U.S. trade laws and will give American workers the confidence that their government has every potential tool available to fight for a level playing field against foreign competitors that seek to cheat the system,” said Kevin Dempsey, AISI’s president and CEO. “We urge both Republicans and Democrats to support this crucial bill.”

The proposed act provides a pathway for rapid successive trade remedy investigations and limits potential end-runs around U.S. trade laws and the subsequent need for new trade cases. The new legislation would provide an expedited system to address surges in third-country imports of the same product following a successful trade remedy. Finally, the new legislation also strengthens Commerce’s ability to root out circumvention and evasion.

Dempsey also praised the bill’s provisions to address “cross-border subsidization,” where foreign governments subsidize industries not only in their own countries but in other countries as well. This is exemplified by recent action taken by China to subsidize its steelmakers to build new export-oriented steelmaking facilities in other Asian countries, such as Indonesia, through the Belt and Road Initiative.

“American steelmakers have repeatedly won relief against unfair trade practices under the U.S. trade laws – often at great expense – only to face new surges of steel imports of the same products from other countries not subject to the original antidumping or countervailing duty orders,” said Dempsey. “This bill creates a new process for successive investigations to provide for more timely relief against these subsequent surges than under the current system.”

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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